Midlife Non-Crisis

The Disgruntled Citizen of the World, otherwise known as Valerie, the author of the When I Become Queen Blog, is having a Midlife Crisis.  Hers is primarily related to music but I can relate on so many levels.  What began as a comment on her post has morphed into full on rant…

I am a late 30 something and exist, rather proudly for the record, on the other side of the generation gap. Lady Gaga could walk into the coffee shop where I am writing and slap me with impunity as I could neither pick her from a mug book nor identify a single one of her songs.  I generally lament the state of contemporary music and have happily severed my relationship with it with few exceptions.  I have simply decided that my time is better spent further exploring the brilliance of Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, Sinatra, and Nancy Wilson’s of the world than finding the gems among the screeching, preening, self congratulatory artists that would lay claim to their collective mantle.

I detest reality television (Top Chef being the notable exception) and brag about never having seen a single minute of American Idol.

I loathe current comedy which, to my taste, has descended into a morass of fart jokes and gross-out humor. I’ve seen every episode of Frasier (thanks to Lifetime’s reruns) and ponder if there will ever be a spiritual successor to the brilliantly pithy and wryly told stories of the Crane brothers, et al.

When forced to send text messages, I ostentatiously and unapologetically use semi colons and parentheticals. I refuse to date women who send me more than two “LOL’s” per week regardless of the medium. I will not Twitter, Facebook*, or subscribe to any other self-important social medium (though I readily acknowledge the irony of my blogging.)

I don’t begrudge anyone, especially my friends on the other side, the indulgences I reject.  I happily visit them at places like Recessions where I’ve been known to down spectacularly large mugs of Miller Lite and sing karaoke.  As the saying goes, some of my best friends are younger than me.  I don’t consider myself any wiser, more sophisticated, or better than them… just older and with occasionally differing tastes – tastes that reflect my version of life on this side.

I am happy here and have one hundred percent confidence that, for me, the grass is greener, the bourbon richer, and the women more interesting from this vantage of the generational fence.


You know it is Wednesday and I took my turn as contributing editor at DC Blogs. Go on check out that which moved me more than most this past week.

The following excerpt is one that I wanted to include but the Executive Editor and I ultimately agreed was a bit much for DC Blogs.  It certainly deserves your attention, however, if you’re not already hip:

It took me several years to fully understand the lyrics to the Ready for the Word song Digital Display.  If I had this handy instructional post from City Girl’s Blog, my accent on the learning curve would have been much faster –  Finger Licking Good-Part III contains explicit material.


14 Responses to Midlife Non-Crisis

  1. justjp says:

    Totally feel you on everything with one caveat; I am into the social media. The rest is spot on and is well articulated.

    Thanks, and I am glad that you find social media useful. I’m still waiting for someone to make a case to me about them that convinces me.

  2. Titania says:

    Mmmmm, kinda of scary on how many points I agree with you. Maybe because I am 30++ too. With one exception, I Facebook, mostly since it has allowed me to keep contact with friends from the other end of the world. And I will not karaoke (and believe, humanity is happy that I don’t)

    I only karaoke when I have had sufficient quantities of booze to think it’s a good idea… it rarely happens, and never seems like a good idea the next morning.

  3. elle dubya says:

    i was poking around in itunes a few years back and literally stumbled upon an artist i’d never heard of, clicked to hear a sample and was *hooked* on Toby Lightman (Bird on a Wire). when friends would hear it playing in my home or in my car, they’d wonder why i was listening to something that sounded like it had come from a 60’s/70’s blues bar. i wondered why the artist didn’t get more air time. oh well…

    p.s. i’ve never seen a moment of american idol. don’t plan on it either.

    I read in the NYTimes a few Sundays ago that Simon Cowell (if I spelled his name incorrectly, I should be forgiven on the grounds that I refuse to have his name associated with my search history) is getting paid north of $100 million for next season. If that is not the clearest indicator of the coming apocolypse or at the least indicative of a society without a moral compass, then I have no idea what is.

  4. Christina says:

    I am in the same boat. I refuse to watch certain TV shows becaue they are not interesting. I am not up to date with who is the newest star. I refuse to drink the kool aid that is twitter.

    And I am ok with that.

    In a brief defense of television, I find Leverage, Burn Notice, The Daily Show, and a handful of other shows highly entertaining. It is generally the comedies that I find horrifically lacking.

    I also make it a little game with myself where I watch E! for ten minutes while in the gym and count all of the names I don’t recognize.

  5. f.B says:

    Re: music… I’ve found that some people keep catalogs like supermarkets (serve larger audiences, sometimes even in bulk) while others prefer the bodega or corner store feel (more personal service and familiarity). Not saying you’d fall in either, or neither, category. But I like trying to shop at both, when I can. I can’t find a classic version of Sittin on the Dock of the Bay (in which the studio band makes fun of Otis for not being able to whistle) in just any old place that sells music. But sometimes, an airy, top 40 hit is catchy enough to sustain me like a snack between meals.

    Oh, and even eras passed have their… disappointments. Just think about the Osmonds, for example.

    f.B, you make a terrific point. I get my breezy top 40 pop fix when I am in bars that play such music; and I happily listen while there. At the same time, I’d feel like I wasted some cash if I bought any of that before fully mining the depths of bygone eras (and if you think for a single second that I am not searching for that version of Dock of the Bay then I have some waterfront property to sell you.)

  6. Kevin says:

    Amen, brother! Amen! Yet another of those strange intersections where we find ourselves in complete and total agreement. Although I do kinda go back-and-forth on the txt punctuation. It happens.

    Keep preaching the good word.

    We agree more than we disagree, you just enjoy the disagreements more, my friend.

  7. Sara says:

    I am totally with you on facebook and twitter and whatever other social media club I am not part of. I prefer to stay in touch with the people I have chosen to stay in touch with, but now I am just repeating myself.

    I found my senior year H.S. yearbook not too long ago. I looked through it with great fondness but I didn’t see a single face that made me think “I really need to get in touch with that guy.” I imagine that there might be a few exceptions to that from undergrad and grad school, but not enough to make it worth it to me.

  8. citygirlblogs says:

    Thanks so much for including an excerpt about my post on your blog! I really appreciate it!

    I had never heard Digital Display before, but the lyrics made me smile.

    Keep the good bourbon and stimulating (non-virtual) conversation flowing!

    PS Dare I admit that I text with acronyms like I’m a tween?

    It was my pleasure. I would have loved to included it in the DC Blogs Round-Up but it was a just a bit too explicit for that crowd. If you can’t admit it here, where can ya?

  9. Gilahi says:

    I stopped listening to “popular” music in about 1977, when disco assaulted the airwaves. My daughter came along in 1985 and by the mid to late ’90s, I was reintroduced to the genre every time she rode in the car with me. I can count on my 10 fingers the number of artists I embraced during that time period (I’m particularly a fan of Counting Crows), but now I’m back to never listening to the radio and have stated in the past that I wouldn’t know Nickelback from Train.

    I get nickels back when I ride the train, but only because I use my SmartCard…

  10. scottstev says:


    I’m totally with you as I’m about to hit 35. Music lost me during the Brittany era, and the subsequent homogenization of radio. I’ve listened to current alternative bands, and they leave me cold. I was all over e-mail and web access, but once instant messaging and other new tech trends came out, I said “you go on ahead, I’m going to stay here a while and enjoy the view.”

    I recall when I was a child that a 10 year old car looked positively ancient to me. Now I look at some cars and have to remind myself that their ten years old. I don’t know if our tastes for everything freeze in the same way, but I’m done asking the question. Like you, I’m just happy with my view from here.

  11. lacochran says:

    What could you have against a woman who wants to take a ride on your disco stick?

    Yes, you left me speechless with this one. That is all.

  12. Lisa says:

    I think whatever you like or dislike, the best thing about being late 30s is that you are comfortable with it. I like some horrendous music, but I’m no longer embarrassed about it. It’s just me. And the people who like you for you are the only ones who count anymore. I love that.

    It really does keep getting better with age, yes?

  13. kitty says:

    I like the asterisk that doesn’t get qualified.

    I do not have a Facebook account, the blog, however, does. It get’s used about once a month.

  14. k8 says:

    I admit that I like alot of the contemporary music still in my late 30s. But I think that has alot to do with having worked with teenagers for 10 years. I still like to know what they consider “good” music. I’m on facebook, but I do not use it like others do. I’m just kind of “there.”

    I am sensing something quite disturbing as I approach 37, however. I’m the first one to leave the party. It’s horrifying, actually. Right about 10 p.m. I’m thinking about wrapping things up. Everyone that I swing dance with knows that they better get a dance in and soon, because when I start yawning, it’s going to be over. I’ve tried taking naps and drinking coffee, but I think this might just be how it plays out. Hrmph. Life of the party, I am not.

    I may not be the first one to leave a party, but I feel almost embarrassed if I am still in a bar at last call.

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